Loneliness, Love and All that’s Between: A Psychological Look at What Makes Us Lonely and What Keeps Us in Love

Ami Rokach, PhD
Department of Psychology, The Center for Academic Studies, Israel and York University, Canada

Series: Psychology of Emotions, Motivations and Actions
BISAC: PSY000000

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Edited by I Leslie Rubin, Robert J Geller, Abby Mutic, Benjamin A Gitterman, Nathan Mutic, Wayne Garfinkel, Claire D Coles, Kurt Martinuzzi, and Joav Merrick

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Loneliness, as old as time itself, is not easy to define. It’s a bit like love – you know when you feel it, but cannot specifically define it. However, no one who ever walked on the face of this earth has gone through life without experiencing the pain of being lonely, alienated, and feeling unconnected to others, unloved, or even rejected.

Although we, at the 21st century, pride ourselves as inventors [the Internet, computers, reaching the moon, and biomedical advances] we did not invent this one – loneliness was here way before any of us, and consequently we can find it mentioned in the Bible, literature, art, and philosophy. And, as things appear now – it is here to stay. In addition to addressing loneliness, its causes, and how it affects our health, well being, and quality of life, we also discuss what loneliness anxiety is, and the difference between loneliness and depression; For those two may go together, but are actually different.

While loneliness is inescapable, it does not mean that when we experience it, or feel it ‘coming’ that we just wait and embrace the pain until ‘it’ decides to leave us. People have developed various ways of coping with loneliness; learning to either avoid it or better cope with it. The book lists variety of successful methods to reduce the pan of loneliness, and some ways to reduce the probability of it happening.

You can hardly think of two more unconnected [even contradictory] words than love, the feeling that is so wonderful, and loneliness – the wretched pain that is part of feeling alienated and alone. Research indicates that there may be a variety of instances, and situations, where one partner of an intimate connection feels lonely, despite their love for their partner, or maybe sometimes because of it. We take a look at this puzzling phenomenon and explain it.

Various components that relate to the development and promotion of intimate relationships are reviewed. We discuss what to watch for and how to know when the relationship is not doing well, due to loneliness. Loneliness can either be essential, meaning that one of the partners brings it with him or her to the relationship, or the relationship can produce transient, reactive loneliness because it falls short of what one or both partners need and yearn for.

Ending the book is a chapter on what to do when we face difficulties in our relationships. As the title Loneliness and Love implies, we consulted resources that describe marriage enrichment courses, and included many techniques that we could utilize to better our relationship with our spouse, enrich our already good relationship, and if needed, ‘fix’ wounded or broken relationships.

An easy and interesting read, written in everyday language, and is geared for anyone who one time or another may experience loneliness and been in love.

Foreword

Introduction

Part 1: On Loneliness and Love

Chapter 1: What is Loneliness?

Chapter 2: Loneliness and the Lifecycle

Chapter 3: Why Are We Lonely?

Chapter 4: Coping with Loneliness

Chapter 5: On Love and Loneliness

Part 2: Marriage and the Family: What Can Go Wrong
and How to Make It Better

Chapter 6: Marriage and the Family

Chapter 7: Successful Marriages

Chapter 8: Intimate Relationships: Growth and Development

Chapter 9: Loneliness in Romantic Relations

Chapter 10: Enriching Good Marriages and Fixing Bad Ones

Some Concluding Thoughts

Selected References

Index

"Is well written, with a good, logical flow of valuable information, easy to read and understand, and should be on every counselor's/ psychologist's/ social worker's desk. It also should be required reading In college counseling, mental health and related courses. This book is a winner. Few books cover the topic of loneliness as does this one. The Chapter " Enriching Good Marriages and Fixing Bad Ones " is a must read for everyone. Dr. Rokach has produced a winner! Congratulations!" - Joseph P. Cangemi, Ph.D., Emeritus Professor of Psychology, WKU

"Dr. Rokach’s book offers a wide range of perspectives on loneliness. Spanning all age groups, the analysis helps the reader to understand the meaning and implications of loneliness. The research-supported approaches to overcoming loneliness are wonderful tools in coming to an understanding of one’s loneliness and how to cope with it. Case examples used throughout the book not only illustrate how loneliness affects individuals, but also relationships; providing hope for those experiencing loneliness within their relationships. In a compelling way, the book encapsulates a breadth of information about what makes or breaks relationships while program suggestions provide the reader with clear direction and useful ideas. Loneliness, Love and All That’s Between is a book that is a perfect guide for couples or individuals who are experiencing loneliness. Nicely done Dr. Rokach! - Nicole Mitchell, MEd (Counselling Psych)

"Dr. Rokach’s new book dissects the complex issue of loneliness which is so prevalent today. He walks us through identifying and assessing our intimate relationships, and how to improve them. In an age where nearly 50% of marriages break down, it is valuable to have a roadmap to optimizing the union we have chosen, and because it is written in easily understood terminology and with many anecdotes, a greater audience will be able to benefit from the knowledge imparted.” - Doreen Davies Ioannou, Author of “A New Eden”

"This is a wonderful book with a very thorough, exhaustive approach to the topic of loneliness. The amount of information and the comprehensive analysis with which the various points are depicted is quite impressive." READ MORE... - Milada Disman, Ph.D., Assistant Professor (retired), Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Toronto, ON, Canada

"Loneliness, Love and All that’s Between: A Psychological Look at What Makes Us Lonely and What Keeps Us in Love provide comprehensive overviews of loneliness in adult romantic relationships. Written from the perspectives of clinical psychologists engaged both in couple therapy and in academia, the books are an attempt to fill in a literature gap regarding the experience of loneliness despite being actively involved in an intimate relationship." READ MORE... - Alex Molaver, University of Connecticut in the May 2016 newsletter, Interpersonal Acceptance

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